Wicker On Illegal Immigration
From a press release recently sent out by Sen. Wicker’s office:
As a founding member of the Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Caucus, I agree that illegal immigration is a major issue that needs to be addressed. However, I oppose amnesty as the solution.
I joined in support of the Secure Fence Act, which was signed into law in October 2006. The legislation authorized the construction of nearly 700 miles of reinforced fence along our southern border. Approximately half of that fence has been completed, and with an additional $775 million appropriated for it last year, I am hopeful the fence will be completed by 2010.
Increasing security efforts along our southern border is not the sole solution. We also need to provide America’s employers with the tools to verify whether their workers – or potential workers – are in the country legally. Employment opportunities act as a magnet for illegal immigrants, helping draw them across our border. However, if illegal immigrants cannot find work they will be much less inclined to break our laws by entering our country.
One tool that has been particularly successful in this effort has been the E-Verify program.
Using history as our guide, we know that amnesty is not the answer. Congress previously tried addressing the issue through amnesty with the Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986. The bill promised to solve illegal immigration by offering amnesty to nearly three million illegal immigrants. Now, just over 20 years later, we have four times as many immigrants illegally in our country.
If President Obama intends to bring forward immigration reform this year, he should do so in a manner that respects the rule of law our nation was built upon. Offering the failed solution of amnesty would not do so, and it would not solve this problem.